Monday, November 21, 2005

Show Me Your Cairns

I love Virgin Blue. It's irreverent like Virgin Atlantic, and has flight attendants that are just as hot. Not bad for a budget airline. So Stacey from Virgin Blue, if you ever read random travelers' blogs, I have this to say to you: You may have only offered me a headset and served me a can of Victoria Bitter over the course of two flights, but I'm fairly certain you're the girl I want to marry. Meet me on top of the Story Bridge in Brisbane at midnight next week for the ceremony.

Ok, that's about as likely as Cairns becoming classier than Noosa, and, umm, that ain't gonna happen. But I still love Virgin Blue. I got the best 30-minute deep tissue massage in the Blue Room before my flight up here and I feel pretty great... and it was good to get out of Noosa after too many episodes of fine (read: expensive) dining, lazing about, and not getting much of anything done. I wanted to surf, but it didn't happen. (Bodysurfing doesn't count!) We were going to rent catamrans and sail out in Laguna Bay, but that didn't happen either. We were going to rent 4WDs and head up to the Coloured Sands at Rainbow beach, but - you guessed it - didn't happen. But I've still left there oddly satisfied, and now here I am in a completely different setting.

If Noosa is Queensland's La Jolla, Cairns is its Ft. Lauderdale. You come in from the airport and it's tacky motel after stripmall after tacky motel after stripmall... you get the picture. I'm booked in to the YHA Central, which used to be a tacky motel, but it's been converted into a pretty nice hostel, complete with internet cafe, swimming pool, nice reception/travel booking area, and very comfortable beds. Spacious, too. It's only a few minutes walk from the Esplenade, aka Party Central. Cairns is where all the travelers come to par-tay, but I don't know how much I'll see. I have 5 days of adventure travel ahead of me, all of which start around 7:00a or earlier. So, umm, yeah, it looks like the Aussie term "a few quiet beers" will continue to be a part of my vocabulary for the coming week.

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